IOW launches walk-to-school study

Published 12:32 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—Isle of Wight County has awarded a contract to a Norfolk-based planning and landscape architecture firm to identify routes for walking paths within a mile of Windsor Middle School and Westside Elementary School in Smithfield.

The $69,941 contract awarded to Land Studio is federally funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — stimulus money. Land Studio and its sub-consultants will work with parents, teachers, school administrators and residents to determine safe and feasible routes to connect the schools to existing neighborhoods and sidewalks.

“The goal is to create an opportunity for students to choose to walk to school, and improve pedestrian access to school facilities for all local residents,” according to a county news release.

Windsor Middle and Westside Elementary schools were chosen because of their proximity to residential areas and existing sidewalks. Land Studio will prepare the preliminary construction design.

Construction funding may be available through the National Center for Safe Routes to School, a federal program that helps communities implement safe strategies to promote walking among the children up to the eighth grade.